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Monday, May 11, 2020

MLB owners approve historic revenue-sharing plan amid coronavirus pandemic

Major League Baseball owners approved a proposal Monday requiring teams to share 50% of their revenue with the Major League Baseball Players Association should plans to play this year proceed, three people with direct knowledge of the proposal told USA TODAY Sports.

The people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were unauthorized to discuss details, said the historic revenue-sharing plan is integral in order to to address revenue losses with an 82-game season being played without fans beginning in July. MLB officials say that teams are expected to lose about 40% of their gross revenue from ticket sales, concessions and parking.

The proposal is expected to be rejected by the players, who are fearful owners would then push to implement a salary cap during negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that expires Dec. 1, 2021. The players’ compensation has never been tied to club revenues.

This sounds like a reasonable offer, so of course it will be rejected.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 11, 2020 at 10:27 PM | 172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus, revenue sharing

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   101. Sunday silence Posted: May 14, 2020 at 08:35 AM (#5950336)
That makes no sense, since (again) they said that they would discuss whether it was economically feasible to play with no fans.


What part about that does not make sense to you? We've already been quoted something about "feasibility." So it would appear that both parties left open the possibility that playing baseball might not be feasible.

So why does it not make sense to you that the season was conditional upon no restrictions on gatherings? THis would seem to follow logically from the idea that the season might not be feasible.

I guess others have already made this point, but interested in hearing the response.
   102. Howie Menckel Posted: May 14, 2020 at 08:35 AM (#5950337)
WSJ

Jared Diamond
@jareddiamond
NEWS: Baseball's proposal plan to play in 2020 involves testing all personnel for coronavirus multiple times per week, with results within 24 hours. MLB also expect to have access to some supply of rapid tests.

A positive test would not shut down play.
   103. Sunday silence Posted: May 14, 2020 at 08:44 AM (#5950340)
What if you had Red Sox v Yankees with AAAA players, and on the other channel you had Verlander wearing a Sunshines jersey pitching to Trout rocking Gumball blue. I don't know about you, but I'd watch Trout even from day 1, and after some history was established it would be even more true.


BUt this is essentially a conjured up example. I mean sure, every so often Verlander pitches to Trout, or some other big name pitcher faces a big name batter, etc. But for every one of those dont you have:

Yan Gomes of the Pipers facing Ross Stripling of Lolligaggers, or
Julio Urias of the Beavers is now pitching to Victor Robles of the Alt HIstories,

Repeat X number of times.

People on this site are already watching the Korean baseball and taiwan baseball. And they've already started to have favorites, and guys with predictable strengths and weaknesses. I guess they start to follow certain teams, they but into the narrative of the team and off we go suddenly we have a story line.

I guess that cuts both ways though. I guess you can drum up a story line/narrative even from made up teams like the Beavers. But possibly the idea of linking them to a city helps in this regard.

In any event I dont think its as simply as you make it out to be, simply because Trout vs Big Name pitchers is more of a highlite and not something happening every 5 minutes.
   104. Sunday silence Posted: May 14, 2020 at 08:46 AM (#5950341)
A positive test would not shut down play.


Already it doesnt sound feasible.
   105. Adam Starblind Posted: May 14, 2020 at 08:56 AM (#5950344)
because nobody really gives a #### about these guys unless they're sporting the brand names -- "Baltimore Orioles," "New York Mets," "Green Bay Packers,"


Well this is not true at all. Even if you remove the hyperbole, the abject failure of every 'replacement player' situation in every major sport in history 'oft-proves' exactly the opposite.


It's also not that hard to call the players' teams "Baltimore," "Queens" (though the players might prefer "Queens County" or "Queensborough"; call the Yankees "Bronx"), Green Bay, etc. Have to think that's close enough for fans to associate with their beloved franchises.
   106. Ron J Posted: May 14, 2020 at 09:06 AM (#5950347)
#104 I don't know. Assuming you have rapid, accurate tests you can do an immediate test on everybody in the bubble and react accordingly.

Yes, that makes a couple of critical assumptions, but I will note that UFC (yes I know) didn't feel the need to shut down after one fighter and two of his trainers tested positive. They immediately retested everybody and cancelled a fight. MLB has replacements on hand instead so is better placed to react.

My objection would be primarily that the current tests really are not good enough. And several tests a week is probably too low. UFC 249 did 1200 tests for 300 people for a single day's event (but that did include the emergency retest of everybody -- which seems to imply that they weren't detected in the first round of testing)
   107. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 14, 2020 at 09:21 AM (#5950348)
The thought experiment that I think is the most relevant is what happens if they exist at the same time? What if you had Red Sox v Yankees with AAAA players, and on the other channel you had Verlander wearing a Sunshines jersey pitching to Trout rocking Gumball blue. I don't know about you, but I'd watch Trout even from day 1, and after some history was established it would be even more true.

To the extent that we have any evidence on any of this, I think the strongest conclusions we can draw is that no one is interested in watching the 800-1600th best players play while wearing the uniforms of what are supposed to be the best in the world, while the best in the world are sitting at home.


You're making a giant assumption that every single one of the top 799 players would go to the Players League, while MLB would only have players 800+ and worse.

The likely outcome is a rough mix of half and half for both leagues. And then both would fail. Verlander pitching to the Tigers Bobby McFuckFace while Mike Trout is batting off the Gumball's Timmy McAAAA.
   108. DL from MN Posted: May 14, 2020 at 09:32 AM (#5950352)
Separate leagues do well if you can get fans in the stand because the experience of watching baseball in person doesn't always require the best talent. The success of the St. Paul Saints proves that you can get people to buy baseball with anonymous players. That's not the world we currently live in. This would be a made-for-television league and that is very likely to fail.
   109. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 14, 2020 at 09:56 AM (#5950356)
Blake Snell is saying this morning in the media that it would be crazy for him to play in 2020 for less money than the $7 million he is supposed to be paid this year, when he would be taking on significant physical risk by playing. He was like, "If I get a fraction of a fraction of my seven million, then I pay taxes on whatever that is...and then I take on the risk of long-term damage from coronavirus...no way. I'll just try it again in 2021."

Snell, who was pretty subpar in 2019, is entering the secomnd year of a 5-year extension he signed after his Cy Young season in 2018. It was basically a 5yr/$50m deal, with most of the money being in the 2021-2023 seasons ($40.8m over those three years).

Of course he doesn't want to play for "only" 3 million or whatever this season, when he can minimize risk of infection, and he's guaranteed almost $41 million over the next three years.

Does Snell represent a large percentage of the players? A large percentage of the highesy-paid players? A large percentage of players who are at a certain point in their careers, or in their current contracts?

There is no way there will be MLB in 2020.
   110. bunyon Posted: May 14, 2020 at 10:42 AM (#5950365)
I've wondered if a lot of pitchers might not benefit from taking a full year off. Give that arm some rest. Another reason not to risk playing. The more the season has the feel of an exhibition, the less reason to play.
   111. Ron J Posted: May 14, 2020 at 10:53 AM (#5950370)
#100 In an awful lot of cases a player wouldn't want the contract voided.

They would however like some income in the immediate term.
   112. Rally Posted: May 14, 2020 at 11:42 AM (#5950382)
Does Snell represent a large percentage of the players? A large percentage of the highest-paid players? A large percentage of players who are at a certain point in their careers, or in their current contracts?


Good question. Mike Trout would make about 18 million in a shortened season, and then whatever fraction that is renegotiated to would still be pretty good money.

But what about a pre-arb start? Maybe Juan Soto? A player like that might be looking at 700K for 2020 as a normal salary, down to 350 for the half season, and then whatever that is further adjusted to. If there's no season, then he gets a year of service time and goes into 2021 with a much higher salary through the arbitration process (assuming he makes the super 2 cutoff).

I can understand the lack of incentive to push for the deal as offered.
   113. BillWallace Posted: May 14, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5950396)


You're making a giant assumption that every single one of the top 799 players would go to the Players League, while MLB would only have players 800+ and worse.


Yes, and as others have said it's obvious this isn't a particularly realistic scenario. The whole exercise is more of a thought experiment with the goal of supporting the position that the players could/should be getting a bigger share of the pie. Not a practical suggestion for the players to start speccing out ballparks and hiring more lawyers.

I have believed for a while that if the union was somehow strong and cohesive enough (again, not realistic I know) that they could strike for a significantly larger piece, with the vague threat of a new league only as a backdrop. It makes no sense to actually kill the brand value of mlb, just to set it's ROI at a more reasonable level.
   114. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 14, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5950442)
There is no way there will be MLB in 2020.

I'm starting to believe this.
   115. Ron J Posted: May 14, 2020 at 12:55 PM (#5950453)
#113 I don't think it's an accident that the generation of players with the strongest solidarity were fighting to avoid getting screwed over in pension fund scams and were fighting for merely very good wages. The share they're getting is getting progressively smaller but it's still very large in absolute terms. I think it's likely harder to get the same level of commitment.

And yes, it could be distributed more equitably but the players by and large are fine with the pyramid distribution. Pretty sure most players expect to eventually get into the high tiers.
   116. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: May 14, 2020 at 01:20 PM (#5950460)
If an alternate league started wouldn't it end the way that every other alternate league (save the AL) ended? Because the guys who own MLB teams have billions of dollars at their disposal, they'd offer the stars contracts that the alternate league couldn't match, they'd cut ticket prices and operate at a loss (something that billionaires can afford to do), and within a year or two the other league goes out of business. (cf. basically all of 19th c. baseball).
   117. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 14, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5950471)
FTR, other leagues have to some extent merged: AFL (all), ABA and WHA (some teams).
   118. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 14, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5950473)
There is no way there will be MLB in 2020.

I'm starting to believe this.


And Snell's stated concern about health risks is the sort of language both sides should use when announcing it.
   119. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 14, 2020 at 02:31 PM (#5950499)
And Snell's stated concern about health risks is the sort of language both sides should use when announcing it.
Well, maybe leave out the part where the health concern only seems to come up if he's not getting paid in full.
   120. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 14, 2020 at 02:35 PM (#5950502)
But what about a pre-arb start? Maybe Juan Soto? A player like that might be looking at 700K for 2020 as a normal salary, down to 350 for the half season, and then whatever that is further adjusted to.
I wouldn’t expect the pre-arb players to be treated the same as those with large contracts in any settlement. A ‘compromise’ might be that players earning more than $1M have 10% of this year’s pro-rated salary paid in 2021, and perhaps even another 10% paid in 2022. Could be multiple levels & lengths on any deferrals, as well as interest rates on those deferrals. Lots of room for negotiation, and I don’t think it will be that hard for the Union to show ‘good faith’ and protect its members interests. The owners will have a more difficult time if they try to completely abandon the pro rata pay agreement.
   121. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 14, 2020 at 02:47 PM (#5950508)
What part about that does not make sense to you? We've already been quoted something about "feasibility." So it would appear that both parties left open the possibility that playing baseball might not be feasible.

So why does it not make sense to you that the season was conditional upon no restrictions on gatherings? THis would seem to follow logically from the idea that the season might not be feasible.
You misunderstood me. I'm not saying that it doesn't make sense that the season was conditioned on that. I'm saying that it makes no sense that the agreement was conditioned on that.
   122. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 14, 2020 at 02:48 PM (#5950509)
A positive test would not shut down play.
TF? Then what's the point of testing in the first place?
   123. Ron J Posted: May 14, 2020 at 03:18 PM (#5950529)
122. As I said -- assuming fast and accurate tests -- you immediately retest everybody in the bubble and react by putting those that need to be into quarantine. Now you do need to be testing a lot to make this model work because if it gets in there's likely to be a very rapid spread.

I'm truly hesitant to use the UFC as an example, but I honestly can't complain about the way they managed. They tested everybody a lot. And when one of the tests came back positive they tested everybody again. They didn't cancel the event, just a single fight (and MLB has replacements on hand so that won't be required)

It's just that the scale of testing is going to be hard to make work. 24 fighters and a single day event required 1200 tests.

And of course all of this is complicated by unreliable tests that fail in the wrong direction. I expect things to go badly in practice if they try for a season.
   124. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 14, 2020 at 03:23 PM (#5950531)
Ron, the UFC thing was a one-off event. You get exposed, you don't get exposed, it's over and it's not the UFC's problem anymore. MLB is a league trying to hold a season. By the time anyone tests positive, they've been around a lot of other players. Those people will then go on to be around a lot of other people.

Testing and tracing only works if you isolate the contacts. Otherwise it's just kind of an interesting observational experiment to watch the spread of a virus.
   125. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 14, 2020 at 03:42 PM (#5950537)
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal today, MLB’s plan is to test frequently, and immediately quarantine anyone testing positive, with those in contact with the person more closely monitored. Don’t know if that will work, but it will have a better chance if MLB is strict as to who is allowed inside the bubble, and under what circumstances. No media in the locker room, just socially distanced pool coverage in designated areas. Use volunteer employees who trade isolation for higher pay as much as possible. Players’ families are likely the biggest hurdle, but an isolation process before going into the bubble might be possible. Right now, the Arizona-Florida-Texas options seem more likely than playing at regular MLB stadiums.
   126. Ron J Posted: May 14, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5950538)
124 Yeah I get that. You have to do meaningful contact tracing too. It can be done (recent events in South Korea show that), though I'm not hopeful that it will be.

I don't think anybody really comprehends the scale of testing we're talking about. The PGA expects to do a million tests for their partial season. No idea what MLB should be thinking of, but it's a heck of a lot more than that.

And unless the tests get a whole lot better it will all break. Statistically inevitable that a positive player will be missed by the tests and spread it widely (given the current state of tests you'd need to test everybody several times a day to prevent this)
   127. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 14, 2020 at 03:50 PM (#5950543)
You misunderstood me. I'm not saying that it doesn't make sense that the season was conditioned on that. I'm saying that it makes no sense that the agreement was conditioned on that.
The agreement contemplated a season conditioned on that. If the condition is not fulfilled, the separate discussion also specifically contemplated in the agreement applies.
   128. winnipegwhip Posted: May 14, 2020 at 03:55 PM (#5950545)
If daily testing is required will Draft Kings employees get the testing results prior to lineups being announced?
   129. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 14, 2020 at 04:20 PM (#5950552)
I'm not sure Snell is an ideal spokesperson for the broad sentiments of players (I saw Snell for a few minutes on an ESPN "gaming" show a week or two ago, and he was not terribly likable or well-spoken, IMO). Because of that, he didn't do a very good job in the newspaper of coming across as, "Hey, there's nothing I want to do more than give the fans some live baseball to add some normalcy to the bizarre situation we are all in right now...but if we can't come up with a way of doing so safely, then we just can't take a chance of getting sick."

Instead, Snell was like, "If I'm not getting my millions, then f*** it."

Very few baseball fans are going to blame the major team sports if they decide they cannot get back on the field safely in 2020. The only way baseball can really f*** it up is if they sound like the main impediment to returning to the field this year is money.
   130. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5950559)
By the time anyone tests positive, they've been around a lot of other players. Those people will then go on to be around a lot of other people.

I know this might change based on tests and technology, but how soon after infection do the tests show positive?
   131. Sunday silence Posted: May 14, 2020 at 04:36 PM (#5950560)

#100 In an awful lot of cases a player wouldn't want the contract voided.

They would however like some income in the immediate term.


ok thats a good point.
   132. winnipegwhip Posted: May 14, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5950562)
"If I'm not getting my millions, then f*** it."


This should be the name of all baseball stadiums which have been built in the last 30 years.
   133. Sunday silence Posted: May 14, 2020 at 04:42 PM (#5950563)
You misunderstood me. I'm not saying that it doesn't make sense that the season was conditioned on that. I'm saying that it makes no sense that the agreement was conditioned on that.



OK right. I understand what you're saying now. But given that, then doesnt it make more sense that what was reported earlier, i.e. in March, was some sort of "Agreement in Principle" or an understanding? That nothing was really agreed to in writing. Nothing was set in stone, just some sort of general assumptions that everybody was on board with as "this is what we're thinking about now, I hope we can make it work."

Thats what it sounds like to me. WHy would anyone commit anything to writing at that stage in March when so much was unknown.
   134. Sunday silence Posted: May 14, 2020 at 04:46 PM (#5950564)

And of course all of this is complicated by unreliable tests that fail in the wrong direction.


Isnt either direction "wrong" in the case where a sports league is trying to function? If the test is failed negative, then obviously large swaths of people can get infected.

But if the test is false positive, then fans are losing their favorite player(s). So its a bad result either way in this case.
   135. Sunday silence Posted: May 14, 2020 at 04:53 PM (#5950565)
A player like that might be looking at 700K for 2020 as a normal salary, down to 350 for the half season, and then whatever that is further adjusted to


RIght. As mentioned above, the current offer from the owners seems to be 30% so if that means going from 700k to 210K one can see that a lot of guys are not gonna want to risk it for that. So I agree with your general pt.
   136. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 14, 2020 at 04:58 PM (#5950568)
The NFL successfully staged games with replacement players in 1987.

tht they did, but they weren't successful games by quality and attendance; their good fortune was that the tv rights were locked in.
   137. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 14, 2020 at 05:23 PM (#5950576)
The NFL successfully staged games with replacement players in 1987.

tht they did, but they weren't successful games by quality and attendance; their good fortune was that the tv rights were locked in.


The other thing from 1987 was that we knew the games counted, so the games mattered. It also was really quirky - I remember being like, "If my team can bank these scab wins, then we've got a great chance of making the playoffs when the regular players come back..."
   138. Ron J Posted: May 14, 2020 at 05:50 PM (#5950592)
134 False positive mean a player is in quarantine when he doesn't need to be. False negative means that in time a whole bunch of players will need to be in quarantine.

Pretty clear that you want your mistakes to be false positives.

EDIT: And for the "Athletes don't need to worry" crowd I'd advise people to check out Georges Laraque. OK, retired for a decade and an asthmatic, but still in great shape and a genuine tough guy.
   139. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 14, 2020 at 06:54 PM (#5950610)
and asthma, last time I checked, was not a significant indicator of risk.
   140. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: May 14, 2020 at 08:02 PM (#5950626)
I'm sure his real name is not Bradley Scotchman

Heh!
   141. Zach Posted: May 14, 2020 at 08:18 PM (#5950632)
Blake Snell is saying this morning in the media that it would be crazy for him to play in 2020 for less money than the $7 million he is supposed to be paid this year, when he would be taking on significant physical risk by playing. He was like, "If I get a fraction of a fraction of my seven million, then I pay taxes on whatever that is...and then I take on the risk of long-term damage from coronavirus...no way. I'll just try it again in 2021."

Would this actually be an option if the union as a whole signs on to the deal?

I can't imagine that a team would just shrug something like that off.
   142. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 14, 2020 at 08:24 PM (#5950634)
Would this actually be an option if the union as a whole signs on to the deal?
i don’t think any deal will have players giving back more salary, although there might be some deferrals. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if players at greater risk, or overly worried, were allowed to opt out of 2020 (at their own expense). Not many would go that route, IMHO.
   143. Zach Posted: May 14, 2020 at 08:26 PM (#5950636)
Interesting question, actually: Would a team facing huge losses on the season be open to a "Snell option" where star players just don't show up and don't get paid for the year?
   144. . Posted: May 14, 2020 at 08:29 PM (#5950640)
Presumably they would just go on the suspended list just as would any player who didn’t report. The union could in theory try to negotiate some kind of special status for the Snells in the current negotiations, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
   145. Howie Menckel Posted: May 14, 2020 at 09:23 PM (#5950654)

this is a Sports Business Journal reporter:


Eric Fisher
@EricFisherSBG
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says on CNN he has "great confidence" league will be able to make a deal with MLBPA to address both economics of truncated season w/o attending fans, and address health concerns. Time will tell, and big questions still to be answered.
9:16 PM · May 14, 2020

Eric Fisher
@EricFisherSBG
·
3m
Replying to
@EricFisherSBG
Manfred says players who have concerns about safety of returning will not be forced to return.

Eric Fisher
@EricFisherSBG
·
3m
Manfred says losses of not playing the 2020 season will approach $4 billion.
   146. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 14, 2020 at 11:37 PM (#5950670)
Presumably they would just go on the suspended list just as would any player who didn’t report.


And? What can they do other than refuse to pay him for this season, which I assume Snell is fully aware of and comfortable with.

The union could in theory try to negotiate some kind of special status for the Snells in the current negotiations, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.


Well, that didn't age well, as per the very next post.
   147. Jack Sommers Posted: May 14, 2020 at 11:57 PM (#5950676)
Just like the rest of the country, baseball is never going to look and feel the same again.

They may start up in 2020. But they won’t finish.

The squabbles between owners and players now are going to look as trite and petty as the outrage by writers and medias that were banned from clubhouses 5 days before the entire thing was shut down.

Long range perspective is sorely lacking in both MLB’s planning and in the discussions surrounding it all.

   148. Sunday silence Posted: May 15, 2020 at 04:15 AM (#5950705)
my question is: are baseball player contracts guaranteed if the season cannot/does not take place?

Does Manfred have the power to declare a season is not going to happen and/or over?
   149. Sunday silence Posted: May 15, 2020 at 04:18 AM (#5950706)
You misunderstood me. I'm not saying that it doesn't make sense that the season was conditioned on that. I'm saying that it makes no sense that the agreement was conditioned on that.


OK now the other story I read, the press is treating this as if it really were an agreement. So I dunno, I tend to agree with what you're saying here. NOW.
   150. Rally Posted: May 15, 2020 at 07:31 AM (#5950713)
Manfred says players who have concerns about safety of returning will not be forced to return.


Would players who opt out for safety reasons still get service time credit? If so we might see a ton of pre-arb players opting out.
   151. Rally Posted: May 15, 2020 at 07:35 AM (#5950714)
my question is: are baseball player contracts guaranteed if the season cannot/does not take place?


I think that was agreed to early on. MLB paid $170m, or something like that, to the player's union to divide among members. If there is no season, that is all the players get for the year. Service time accrues, so Mookie will still be a free agent if he never plays a game for the Dodgers, and the Angels will be down to the last year of the Albertross.
   152. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 15, 2020 at 09:22 AM (#5950732)
All the players' union cares about is:

1) Avoiding movement towards a salary cap (including players getting paid based on a percentage of revenue);
2) Getting service credit for 2020, even if there is no season, or if a player chooses not to play based on personal safety.

The players getting paid for 2020 is a distant 3rd.
   153. winnipegwhip Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:08 AM (#5950743)
Manfred says losses of not playing the 2020 season will approach $4 billion.


was there a follow up question to ask what consists in that number? How much of his claim is amortization?
   154. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:32 AM (#5950746)
OK now the other story I read, the press is treating this as if it really were an agreement. So I dunno, I tend to agree with what you're saying here. NOW.
It was an agreement with regard to terms for playing the season with fans, and an agreement to have a separate discussion about what to do if they can’t have fans.
   155. Rally Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:35 AM (#5950747)
Getting service credit for 2020, even if there is no season, or if a player chooses not to play based on personal safety.


We've already established that players (at least those who played the full 2019 season) will get a full year of service credit if there are no games at all.

I think it's an open question on how service time will be handled if games resume, Yonny Chirinos pitches, and Blake Snell sits out.

Actually doesn't matter that much for Snell as he signed a contract extension, he could get zero service time for 2020 but if he and MLB resume in 2021, he'll be a free agent after 2023 either way. For a lot of players, it does matter quite a bit. Beyond the good players waiting for the clock out for free agent earnings, for many marginal players the service time agreement will determine what kind of pension they one day will end up with.

I think the understanding for players who weren't up for all of 2019, they get the same amount of service time as they did in 2019. Definitely hurts a guy like Bo Bichette, who was up for 63 days last year but was expected to be the 2020 everyday shortstop. With no season, he goes into 2021 with 126 service days, less than a full year.
   156. Rally Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5950758)
Here's how things could go down if MLB agreed to a 50/50 revenue split.

Assumptions:
Normal revenue: 10 billion
Total player contracts: 4 billion (adjust to 2 billion for half season)
Short season revenue: 3 billion

Players would get 75% of what their pro-rated contracts call for, as long as no other moves are made.

But did anyone not see this move coming?

Marlins sign free agent SS Derek Jeter to a one year, 100 billion contract.

Total player pay now supposed to be 104 billion, but capped at 1.5 billion.

Jeter takes home 1.44 billion. Everyone else splits 60 million, about 1.5% of their original contracts. Don't complain, be happy for the Captain. Complaining is Disre2pectful.
   157. Zach Posted: May 15, 2020 at 12:09 PM (#5950782)
The union could in theory try to negotiate some kind of special status for the Snells in the current negotiations, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

I'm speculating that they might not have to. Given the revenue predictions, every team is spending way too much on payroll this year. If a star player wants to volunteer to be furloughed, the team may just let it go.
   158. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: May 15, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5950886)
You guys are getting too far into the weeds on this contract issue.

Say you're right and the players have an enforceable agreement. Great. The owners decide not to have a season. You can litigate that, but it's ambiguous and would take years to work out. If the owners could make a decent argument they thought they'd lose money they'll win.

Just because you can win a fight doesn't mean you should fight it. And again, I'm not sure they would win.

And I'd also point out that without gate it is possible some franchises would lose money. It happens every day that an agreement falls apart because one side realizes they can't do it. Instead of one side trying to squeeze water from a stone they renegotiate.

My point is it isn't always about the law. You're always within your right to ask the other side to renegotiate. We do it all the time, subcontractor is in trouvle and we'll change their pay structure and hire help, because it makes more sense than blowing up the project when they fall on their faces and can't finish.
   159. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5950907)
And I'd also point out that without gate it is possible some franchises would lose money.
Potentially losing a few dollars in one season shouldn’t be a big deal, but if a few teams are in such bad financial shape that they would prefer not to play at all than play without spectators in 2020, it’d be better to let them sit it out than muck up the arrangements for the teams that can get by on non-gate revenue for a year. Those owners probably don’t want to be branded that way, and there’d be a huge problem figuring out payments (if any) to players on those teams, but a 26-team partial season is better than no MLB at all.
   160. Buck Coats Posted: May 15, 2020 at 07:33 PM (#5951024)
Those teams worried that they'll lose money also always have the option to sell their teams to people who may not be as concerned...
   161. Ron J Posted: May 15, 2020 at 08:17 PM (#5951038)
158 Don't know if the law has changed or whether situations are materially different but I do remember Marvin Miller spending a lot of time trying (and eventually succeeding) to get Bowie Kuhn to make a formal declaration of financial hardship during negotiations. Because at that point the PA got access to MLB's books.

Pretty sure Manfred's smarter than Kuhn (to be fair, so are some toasters) and would be very careful in any such claims.
   162. Zach Posted: May 15, 2020 at 08:21 PM (#5951039)
My point is it isn't always about the law. You're always within your right to ask the other side to renegotiate. We do it all the time, subcontractor is in trouvle and we'll change their pay structure and hire help, because it makes more sense than blowing up the project when they fall on their faces and can't finish.

This is what I meant by "desire to be in a continuing economic relationship" trumping the precise wording of an agreement.

Both sides knew they would have to renegotiate the earlier agreement before the season could start.
   163. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 17, 2020 at 12:29 AM (#5951367)
MLB 2020 - No Showers & No Spitting:
Major League Baseball players will be prohibited from taking showers after games and there will be no fist-bump celebrations or spitting sunflower seeds in the dugout, according to a return-to-play guidelines drafted by league officials. The new restrictions, which have to be approved by the players' union, would also enforce social distancing, meaning no hugs or high fives after a home run, and a ban on chewing tobacco, the US media reported on Saturday.

Players would go through daily temperature screenings and have to sanitize their hands each half-inning. MLB plans to perform thousands of tests on players, coaches, management and stadium personnel for Covid-19 on a weekly basis. Showers would not be permitted at the stadium after games.
. . .
Players not in the lineup would need to sit in auxiliary seating at a social distance and not in the dugout. Non-playing team personnel would need to wear face coverings in the dugout.
Disinfecting a limited-access shower area wouldn’t seem that difficult. Perhaps it’s a bargaining chip - “you can have showers if you give back another 5% of your salaries to cover the costs”?
   164. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 17, 2020 at 12:59 AM (#5951374)
Major League Baseball sent a proposal to the players’ union Friday that offered a detailed outline on how players, coaches and select staff members would be tested for the novel coronavirus that is threatening the season, but it also suggested radical changes to how players would interact if and when conditions are deemed safe enough to stage games.

Think of it this way: masked players who aren’t allowed to spit or high-five sitting at least six feet apart in the dugout and even spilling into the stands as necessary.

The 67-page document, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, is subject to approval by the Major League Baseball Players Association, and it is unlikely it simply will be rubber-stamped.
   165. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 17, 2020 at 01:56 AM (#5951380)
From the article linked in # 164:
Players and coaches “must make every effort to avoid touching their face with their hands (including to give signs), wiping away sweat with their hands, licking their fingers, whistling with their fingers, etc.”
Going to have to get creative. Hopefully, not too many crotch grabs.
   166. Adam Starblind Posted: May 17, 2020 at 09:32 AM (#5951406)

RIght. As mentioned above, the current offer from the owners seems to be 30% so if that means going from 700k to 210K one can see that a lot of guys are not gonna want to risk it for that. So I agree with your general pt.


On the other hand, those players may have little savings to get by on. 700k sounds like a lot, but when you factor in that mortgage payment on a $2.4 million house, plus the understandable rewards you give yourself for earning that kind of money, many of them would be running on fumes.
   167. Sunday silence Posted: May 18, 2020 at 04:07 AM (#5951562)
Players and coaches “must make every effort to avoid touching their face with their hands (including to give signs), wiping away sweat with their hands, licking their fingers, whistling with their fingers, etc.”


THis seems almost certainly a set up to failure situation. How hard is it for me going about my everday activity to remember to do this? Its hard I find myself forgetting to put on the mask when Im in a hurry to drop off a package or pickup a quick snack. Then imagine yourself playing baseball with all the ingrained habits and rituals you go through. Knowing that if you have to start thinking about any one of them, its going to mess up your batting eye or where you plant your foot. Ugh that sounds awful but maybe by the 50th game you get used to it, I dunno.
   168. Adam Starblind Posted: May 18, 2020 at 07:16 AM (#5951564)

THis seems almost certainly a set up to failure situation. How hard is it for me going about my everday activity to remember to do this? Its hard I find myself forgetting to put on the mask when Im in a hurry to drop off a package or pickup a quick snack. Then imagine yourself playing baseball with all the ingrained habits and rituals you go through. Knowing that if you have to start thinking about any one of them, its going to mess up your batting eye or where you plant your foot. Ugh that sounds awful but maybe by the 50th game you get used to it, I dunno.


If this is going to lead to more strikeouts, I'd just as soon wait until 2021.
   169. Greg Pope Posted: May 18, 2020 at 09:20 AM (#5951584)
Disinfecting a limited-access shower area wouldn’t seem that difficult.

I have no idea what the MLB clubhouse shower situation is. Is it like high school (30 years ago, which is thankfully the last time I was in a high school shower) where there's a large area with some communal showers? Or is it like the health club with individual stalls?

I think it's less about disinfecting than it is about spending 20 minutes in close contact with a bunch of people. Even assuming it's stalls, you have players milling around for an extended period of time.
   170. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 18, 2020 at 02:08 PM (#5951709)
On the showers, I suspect they’ll end up doing what the players are comfortable with. Maybe limit it to the players who actually get into the game, possibly spaced out to enhance social distancing? The more I think about it, the in-ballpark issues seem likely to be manageable, it’s the rest of the stuff that may be tricky.
   171. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 23, 2020 at 02:58 AM (#5953072)
The Baltimore Orioles have released 37 minor leaguers:
The Orioles just released 37 low-level farmhands, Dan Connolly of The Athletic reports (subscription link). Connolly provides the full list of players in his piece. While the Orioles, of course, didn’t part with any premium prospects, there are a few familiar names in the bunch. Sons of former Orioles Chris Hoiles (outfielder Dalton Hoiles) and Rafael Palmeiro (infielder Preston Palmeiro) were let go. Also of interest, the Orioles said goodbye to infielder Jomar Reyes, who was a well-regarded prospect earlier in his professional career.
With 2020 Minor League games unlikely, it appears the Orioles decided that continuing to pay a pittance to non-prospects was not the Peter Angelos way.
   172. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 26, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5953644)
MLB has reportedly scrapped its 50-50 plan in favor of sliding scale cuts in player pay:
MLB owners had approved a plan earlier Tuesday and were presenting it to the union. The plan, three people with knowledge of the proposal told USA TODAY Sports, does not include the same 50-50 revenue-sharing split the owners agreed on two weeks ago that was never submitted to the union. The three spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak publicly due to ongoing negotiations.

The proposal instead includes a sliding scale of compensation, guaranteeing players a percentage of their salary during different intervals of the season, while also including a larger share of postseason money. The players earning the highest salaries would be taking the biggest cuts, while those earning the least amount of money would receive most of their guaranteed salaries, with the union determining the exact percentage splits.
Hard to evaluate without actual numbers. A further 5% cut is a lot different than clawing back another 50% of a player’s salary. Modest deferrals still seem more likely than outright give-backs, IMHO.
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